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So I have a 2006 Jeep Commander 5.7 limited and a few months ago I noticed a small, almost unnoticeable sound from the front end, like a howl or growl. It has progressed to the point where it is very loud and concerning. The shop told me it was the front driveshaft CV and the front differential bushings (they were indeed shot) but I fixed those myself (along with a diff fluid change with 75w-140 and the sound hasn’t changed a bit (they never drove the car, just put it on the lift and saw the diff twitch in its mounts) The sound acts like a worn passenger side wheel bearing, gets louder when steering to the left and gets quieter steering to the right. But I know for FACT the wheel bearings are fine. Replaced both of them, no play, loosened the axle nuts too and no play. No noise when I spin them too. The sound is primarily on deceleration and coasting. The sound gets really quiet under heavy acceleration when the front end lifts up a bit. When I hit little hills in the road and the weight on the front end is alleviated a bit, the sound vanishes for a second. I believe it could possibly be diff carrier bearing? Or maybe a loose pinion bearing preload perhaps? This is what I need help with.
 

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So I have a 2006 Jeep Commander 5.7 limited and a few months ago I noticed a small, almost unnoticeable sound from the front end, like a howl or growl. It has progressed to the point where it is very loud and concerning. The shop told me it was the front driveshaft CV and the front differential bushings (they were indeed shot) but I fixed those myself (along with a diff fluid change with 75w-140 and the sound hasn’t changed a bit (they never drove the car, just put it on the lift and saw the diff twitch in its mounts) The sound acts like a worn passenger side wheel bearing, gets louder when steering to the left and gets quieter steering to the right. But I know for FACT the wheel bearings are fine. Replaced both of them, no play, loosened the axle nuts too and no play. No noise when I spin them too. The sound is primarily on deceleration and coasting. The sound gets really quiet under heavy acceleration when the front end lifts up a bit. When I hit little hills in the road and the weight on the front end is alleviated a bit, the sound vanishes for a second. I believe it could possibly be diff carrier bearing? Or maybe a loose pinion bearing preload perhaps? This is what I need help with.
@tylerjstone ;

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The rear differential pinion bearings when worn will resonate from the front of the vehicle if you are sitting in the driver seat. Easiest way to narrow it down is remove the rear drive shaft completely and operate it in 4Lo up to about 30mph and see if the noise is gone. That will tell you if it’s front or rear diff in origin. If the noise is gone it will be your rear diff front pinion bearing since you notice it on deceleration. If the noise is still there, it should be your front diff front pinion bearing (closest to the yoke).

Edit: That’s assuming you have 4Lo.
 

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Without knowing what 4wd system you have I can offer this. I have had the front differential driveshaft replaced 3 times because of a bad CV joint on my 06 QDII. The signs I noticed happened above 65/70 mph. See if the shaft moves front to rear when you try to move it. There a kit from Dorman to replace just the cv joint.
 

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Hi All.
Hope everyone is fine and dandy.
I am posting on this as its the most recent thread I could find.
The jeep has been a bit of a nightmare again. I recently had all of the fluids replaced (transfer case and front and rear diifs). They were WAY WAY past needing a change. I supplied the garage with the Mopar stuff and the additive.
Suddenly, the jeep developed a 'clunk' when turning or pulling away. Not all of the time. Intermitent. But it was getting louder. Then there were rattles and allsorts from underneath.

The garage thought it was the cheap chinese propshaft I sourced that they put in a year ago. So I got a better quality replacement and booked it in.

Picked it up today and they say the rattles have gone (which they have) but the 'clunk; is still there.

They have said its either the diveshafts or the steering lock hitting something. Either way I don't think they want to know anymore and are glad to see the back of the car!

Big Blue reckons the first thing to check is the diff bushings - which they didn't do!
So I am going to another garage next payday and ask them to take a look and swap them out if needed.

For the mechanics among you, If I get the two bushings and the mount (it comes as a pack) roughly how many hours in labour am I going to be looking at?

Its the Merc OM642 engine if that makes any difference.

Cheers All
 

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Hi All.
Hope everyone is fine and dandy.
I am posting on this as its the most recent thread I could find.
The jeep has been a bit of a nightmare again. I recently had all of the fluids replaced (transfer case and front and rear diifs). They were WAY WAY past needing a change. I supplied the garage with the Mopar stuff and the additive.
Suddenly, the jeep developed a 'clunk' when turning or pulling away. Not all of the time. Intermitent. But it was getting louder. Then there were rattles and allsorts from underneath.

The garage thought it was the cheap chinese propshaft I sourced that they put in a year ago. So I got a better quality replacement and booked it in.

Picked it up today and they say the rattles have gone (which they have) but the 'clunk; is still there.

They have said its either the diveshafts or the steering lock hitting something. Either way I don't think they want to know anymore and are glad to see the back of the car!

Big Blue reckons the first thing to check is the diff bushings - which they didn't do!
So I am going to another garage next payday and ask them to take a look and swap them out if needed.

For the mechanics among you, If I get the two bushings and the mount (it comes as a pack) roughly how many hours in labour am I going to be looking at?

Its the Merc OM642 engine if that makes any difference.

Cheers All
The front upper differential bushing specifically;
 

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The front upper differential bushing specifically;
I had a look.
They come as a pack of three.
Two bushings and a third in a t shaped mount. That was also on the you tubes. They all seem.to take the whole thing out and replace all three together.
The rub is it might be something else....its just turning over 150k so I imagine most things rubber are perished or close to.
 

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I had a front differential leak that I attempted to reseal / repair myself, but I broke a bolt in the mount that attaches to the diff cover. I threw in the towel and took it in to have the work done. The shop put new RTV sealant on the front differential cover and changed the fluid. I was sure I had at least 1 bad front diff bushing, but I had the bushings looked at while it was in for the other work and all three were good.

From what I've read on the bushings, the one on the top of the diff (and the hardest one to change) is usually the one that goes bad first. That bushing takes most of the force / stress from the drive train so it's the one that wears out first. I did see a video online where someone disconnected the front drive shaft and was able to change that top bushing without removing the whole front differential. It definitely looks like a job I'd want a a shop to do. Seems like it'd be easier with a lift and the correct press to replace the bushings. I wouldnt think it'd take more than 2-3 hours to complete?? I'd probably go with OEM bushings, but I also came across these bushings that people had good things to say about as I was looking into this.
 

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From what I've read on the bushings, the one on the top of the diff (and the hardest one to change) is usually the one that goes bad first.
The front upper differential bushing; It may also be referred to by some, as the upper pinion bushing.

This is typically the bushing that wears out first, because 75% of the torque and associated stress, IS TRANSFERRED TO THAT ONE BUSHING FIRST.

This is due to very poor engineering on FCA's part. The other two differential bushings (there are 3 total) take way less of a beating.
 
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